Monday, 18 October 2021

A Pregnant Woman from Sarajevo Treated in Zagreb Infectious Hospital

October 18, 2021 - Sometimes it seems that we only read the bad news about the relations between the neighbours in the region. This story, however, proves all the negativity wrong and shows that humanity comes first when saving lives after all.

A pregnant woman, born in 1989, 19/20 weeks pregnant, was infected with COVID-19 in Sarajevo and developed the most serious type of COVID-19 infection, the acute respiratory stress syndrome. The doctors in Sarajevo told the story to Slobodna Dalmacija and Večernji list, stressing how they were practically unable to help her, as her condition was rapidly worsening and they didn't have an ECMO machine available to help her. Her pregnancy is currently at the stage where the unborn baby is not viable yet.

The ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine is often called the "artificial lungs", and it helps patients recover by doing most of the work performed by the heart and the lungs in a healthy individual. That way, the patients suffering from serious lung damage can get more time for their organisms to fight the virus (or the bacteria or any other cause) which is causing the damage, in this case - the coronavirus. And COVID-19 is also the reason why the patient needed to be transported to Zagreb, because the only ECMO in Sarajevo was already helping another COVID patient. Luckily, Zagreb Infectious disease hospital "dr. Fran Mihaljević" was ready to accept the patient, and she was transported in a helicopter from the Republic of Srpska army, adding another layer to the obvious dedication to the humanity of everyone involved.

Prof. Ismet Gavrankapetanović, MD, who spoke to Croatian media about the situation, said that from what he knows, the patient's situation is currently stable and that the doctors in the Zagreb infectious hospital are doing everything they can to save both her and her unborn baby.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

US Embassy Donates GeneXpert Machine to Zagreb's Infectious Diseases Hospital

ZAGREB, 30 March, 2021 - The US Embassy in Croatia has donated a medical device to the Fran Mihaljević Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb that can detect the coronavirus in less than 45 minutes, the hospital's director Alemka Markotić said on Tuesday.

Four samples can be placed in the GeneXpert machine at the same time. However, it is not used for mass testing, but is useful in quickly dealing with certain situations, Markotić said.

US Embassy official Victoria Taylor said that this is not about just a piece of equipment, but also about the partnership between Croatia and the United States.

We are happy that our small contribution can help the Fran Mihaljević Hospital and the healthcare system in time of need, Taylor said, commending all Croatian health workers for their tireless work during the pandemic.

Markotić said that most of the patients in the hospital's COVID ward were between 50 and 65 years old and had underlying conditions. She noted that the hospital was nearly filled to capacity.

Markotić said that for now there was no substantial number of young people infected with the British variant of the coronavirus in the hospital, but noted that this variant was proved to be spreading faster among young people because of "their greater nonchalance, mobility and socialising."

She warned that the number of new cases was growing and called on the citizens to avoid "risky situations".

Markotić expressed hope that patients would not be left without medicines, after wholesale drug suppliers warned last week that they might restrict drug deliveries because of HRK 6.5 billion debt owed by the hospitals.

Drug wholesaler Medika said today it had suspended drug deliveries to the hospitals.

Markotić said that her hospital had sufficient drug supplies for now. "We hope that we will not find ourselves in a situation where we, or rather our patients, will be left without medicines."

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said earlier that Finance Minister Zdravko Marić and Health Minister Vili Beroš would meet with drug wholesalers to discuss the debt and that they would be paid a certain amount of money in the coming days.

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